Well we are half way through the year already, and dare I say, it is a now a count-down to Christmas! And what better way to start my post than with this gorgeous smiling face. My little great-grandson Alfie ended the season as Star Player in his group. Needless to say he is proudly showing his trophy while wearing his Arsenal shirt!
Summer has well and truly arrived and it has been very hot this week, so I have done as little as possible all day. It is forecast to reach 35º this weekend, but at least we are spared the 40º expected further inland. Any work that needs doing, gets done at the start of the morning. One day this week we decided to clean the ceiling fan in our bedroom so we could start using it at night. I had to get Chris to help me as the only way to reach it is by standing on our bed which has a lovely memory foam mattress on it, and every time I stepped onto it, I fell over. So amid much giggling, with Chris trying to balance on the bed, and me shaking a duster out the window every few minutes, we did manage to get it done, so it is now much safer to turn on, and better for our breathing. (I must admit I was a bit horrified at the amount of dust that came off it).
Although the temperature stays quite high all night, it is quite pleasant to sit outside in the evenings, and we have had a couple of good evenings out. On Sunday we went to the hotel on a local golf resort, for a concert by an orchestra, made up of mainly English retired residents, who have come together to play their chosen instruments. They have a new musical director and he has really injected some new energy into their playing. It was an excellent concert. It wasn't really the right situation to jump up and down with a camera so I only managed to get this rather poor photo of them.
Afterwards we sat outside on a wide patio with nice sails for protection during the day. The view was lovely, looking out towards the hills, with the golfing greens and then the sea beyond them. Several of our friends were there so we sat and had a drink with some of them, and when the mozzies got too active, we moved into the lounge bar and sat with some other friends for more chatting. So all in all it was a very enjoyable evening.
On Wednesday we went to another concert, this time a choral one. There was a new choir started up last year in Vera, originally for anyone who wanted to sing. This gradually whittled down to a serious choir and this week was their inaugural concert.
They sang in Vera Convento, originally a convent but now an art gallery/music venue, where I have sung with the previous choir I was in. There was a really good turnout, with late-comers sitting on a ledge around the wall, or standing at the back. We half expected this so we got there in good time and found two seats near the front. You can see Chris in his red T-shirt, and me peeping out around the man sitting in front of him.
The choir are concentrating on a more classical style of music, so the programme was mostly some grand sacred pieces, and some opera.
They are fortunate to have some members with good, strong voices and enough confidence to sing solos.
Barry, their musical director, is a great pianist, and he is passionate about music. His aim is to coach the choir to sing a grand masterpiece, starting with the first half of Handel's Messiah at Christmas. He plays the piano for them as they sing, and at the same time, directs them when to sing, etc. His enthusiasm is infectious, and I really admired what he has done with the choir in their first year. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
There was something I was going to show you from the garden and I almost left it too late to take a photo. A couple of years ago we re-potted our big palm into a large square pot, because it was constantly blowing over in its original round one. It was a difficult job as it is covered in spines, but the Spanish folk in the village all approved when they saw us doing it. Palms like this are very expensive at garden centres, so they are highly prized. Since then it has improved a lot, growing straighter and bigger. We have cut some of the lower fronds off as they died, but new ones come from the centre. A few weeks ago we saw a new crown just beginning to shoot. They go through a stage when they start to open up, when all the 'leaves' are tightly curled, and I think it looks lovely. However when I went to photograph this on Wednesday, I found they had already almost straightened out and are quite tall now. It is certainly quite a healthy plant.
I have managed to have my first dip in the pool this week. It is the first time I have felt well enough to get in, and I must say it was lovely. The water has warmed up to a pleasant 26º which is just perfect for me. I may well have another dip when I have finished writing this post.
I have also spent some time in my craft room, making a birthday card for my son who was 48 this week - gosh that makes me feel old! I also made a set of twenty-two Christmas cards. I told you we had started the count down! I enter at least one card in a challenge on 25th of each month, called Rudolph day. It is a good way to get a few Christmas cards ready before the last minute panic. This time I made a set all the same to give to my friends in the choir. It is very unlikely any of them will read this post so here they are.
I also made one more lot of cherry jam. I shopped in Lidls and they had the cherries on special offer so I thought I might as well get it done. As it was so hot in the kitchen I sat outside for the rather tedious job of pitting them all. Here is my work space, with a parasol for shade, a blue tooth speaker hanging from it for entertainment, a damp cloth for sticky fingers, and of course a lovely cup of tea. What a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Once pitted, the fruit was soon cooked and the jam made and bottled. I have sold most of the first set and I expect these will soon go too, but I shan't be making any more this season.